How do you reinvigorate the gem-clearing puzzle genre? By integrating it with a platformer, of course. “Hop and Pop” does just that, by giving you a character that actually pushes around the balloons (or, if you prefer, zombie heads) to make the colour combinations, and clear the board.
There’s more than just that, though. Because you have a character, as opposed to moving things around with just a cursor, you can collect power-ups (more than a dozen in all) to improve (or otherwise modify) your character’s attributes. There’s offline multiplayer here too, for those with someone itching to play a gem-puzzler/platformer hybrid with you. Several difficulty levels, multiple soundtracks, and achievement-like awards round out a package that earns its 80 Microsoft Points by executing well on an oddball premise.
Here’s what the developer (Geex) has to say about the game:
“Cute or Trash Mode, single, 2-players or Death Match, Hop and Pop is “Some fun for smart people”. Jump around and push balloons or Zombies ‘heads to make color combinations. Unless you prefer to pick-up surprises and unlock one of the 15 Powers. It’s up to you Features: single, 2 players or Death-Match. Cute or Trash Mode, 3 Difficulty, 4 Soundtracks, 15 awards”